Overview of serum and tissue markers in colorectal cancer: a primer for radiologists

Apurva Bonde, Daniel A. Smith, Elias Kikano, Jennifer M. Yoest, Sree H. Tirumani, Nikhil H. Ramaiya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Serum and tissue tumor markers provide crucial information in the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of colorectal cancers. Tissue tumor markers are increasingly used for determination of targeted chemotherapy planning based on genotyping of tumor cells. Recently, plasma-based technique of liquid biopsy is being evaluated for providing tumor biomarkers in the management of colorectal cancer. Tumor markers are commonly used in conjunction with imaging during initial staging, treatment determination, response assessment, and determination of recurrence or metastatic disease. Knowledge of tumor markers and their association with radiological findings is thus crucial for radiologists. Additionally, various novel imaging techniques are being evaluated as potential noninvasive imaging biomarkers to predict tumor genotypes, features, and tumor response. We review and discuss the potential role of these newer imaging techniques. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5521-5535
Number of pages15
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Imaging
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Tissue and serum tumor markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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